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Latest posts by obelixx

Monty's box hedging

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 00:49

It's a TV programme set in someone's garden and he isn't following a script.  Presumably each week there is a discussion between hima nd the prodcution team as to which topics will be covered from his garden and then they slot in the visits such as sweet pea man, cyclamen men and the Cornish garden but those visits will be planned and often filmed months in advance to have as stock.   

Monty is paid to present it all in his own eloquent words.   Whether or not we agree with those words is another matter entirely.




Monty's box hedging

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 00:11

Me too.  So pleased to see the back of the endless box hedging.   It was boring and monotone and monoform and it will all look so much better opened up and with less of the control freakery that the hedges implied.   I didn't see the point of all those box balls in that courtyard either.  More monotony.

Have to agree about Joe Swift but for a slot on design I'd rather have JAS than Alys.

Does piling up potatoes make that much difference?

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 10:26

Last year on GW MD found that he got excellent yields growing potatoes in raised beds and without all the earthing up that growing in traditional rows entails.

As WO says, to get bigger spuds for roasting you have to choose a good variety and grow them for longer.  It can be done in pots or raised beds but in pots they depend entirely on you for all their food and water as rain will not give them enough.

I actually prefer small new or salad potatoes for roasting but I do them Italian style with rosemary, garlic and a bit of olive oïl and no parboiling.   For traditional British roasties you really need Desirée or Maris Piper. 

Holly hedge from cuttings

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 22:54

PP - Holly, being evergreen, tends to come with a root ball rather than bare-rooted, so is more expensive than a deciduous hedge would be.   Why not try beech or hornbeam instead as you can get them bare rooted and they will grow much more quickly.   Hawthorn would be good to and grow fast.  It is deciduous too but if trimmed regularly the branches will thicken up and hide the chicken wire and it will also be very good for wildlife as it provides food and shelter for a wide range of birds and insects.

Have a look at cornus alba sibirica too.   It has bright red stems which are usually thicker and hardier than Midwinter Fire and responds better to pruning back for new stem colour.

I personally find that Kilmarnock Willow is depserately dull for the 50 weeks of the year it doens't have its catkins and Russian Vine/Mile a Minute is unattractive all year round and can quickly get out of control.   There are willows which have far more attractive habits and stem colours and more interesting climbers. 


Holly hedge from cuttings

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 12:26

Holly is very slow growing and doing it from cuttings would add several years to the time you'd have to wait to get a hedge of any size.   I think you should ask yourself how quickly you need a hedge to be acting as a boundary and how long you expect to be in the current garden.

If the answer to the either is less than 10 to 15 years I suggest you go and buy some small plants from a hedging specialist and plant them in very well prepared soil so they get away quickly and grow strongly.


Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 08:21

Pleased you've had some sun Punkdoc.   It can indeed make you giddy.    We've had an exceptionally sunny few days and the plants are giddy too.   I shall be out there shortly pegging some Sceptr'd Isle roses to form floriferous hummocks as it seems too cruel to cut back all the growth they've put in this week. 

Eggs, and cooking with them

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 08:17

Freeze the whites for making pavlova and soufflés.  Use the yolks to make custard based ice cream.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 20:07

I love going to Chelsea to see the gardens up close but also because I can chat to world class nurserymen and women about their plants asw ell as strike up conversations with complete strangers in the crowd.   I enjoy the evening coverage but wish they'd cover every garden and more of the nurseries in the marquee instead of all the repetitive stuff from the same few gardens and the time wasted covering celebrities' gardens.   I haven't been able to watch the midday programme with Nikki.  Too "lite" and stupid, especially the flower arranging gimmicry.

I don't see why the RHS wouldn't be in a position to demand a certain presenter or quality of presentation and production when drawing up contracts for future TV coverage of Chelsea so we'll just have to wait and see how MD does and what the viewing figures are like compared to other years.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 18:52

Punkdoc - I have bought several DA roses over recent years and the advice given is always to bury them so that the base of the stems (ie graft union) is below the soil.  On their website they say to plant so the base of the stems is 3 inches below soil level. 

Fairygirl - I'd love to see more of JAS presenting gardening and plants on TV.




Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 14:28

He is.  He also communicates great enthusiasm for plants without gushing, has design credentials in the UK and aborad as well as gold medals and people's awards at Chelsea, has a broad range of experience on TV as a presenter on GW plus his own shows - Flying Gardener and Hidden Gardens and is now on the team at Beechgrove where he has slotted in very well with the rest of the team. 

He'd get my vote.

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